Rebellion of God’s People
1 The vision of [the prophet] Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning [the kingdom of] Judah and [its capital] Jerusalem, which he saw [as revealed by God] during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth;
For the Lord has spoken:
“I have reared and brought up sons,
But they have rebelled against Me and have broken away.
“The ox [instinctively] knows its owner,
And the donkey its master’s feeding trough,
But Israel does not know [Me as Lord],
My people do not understand.”
Ah, sinful nation,
A people loaded down with wickedness [with sin, with injustice, with wrongdoing],
Offspring of evildoers,
Sons who behave corruptly!
They have abandoned (rejected) the Lord,
They have despised the Holy One of Israel [provoking Him to anger],
They have turned away from Him.
Why should you be stricken and punished again [since no change results from it]?
You [only] continue to rebel.
The whole head is sick
And the whole heart is faint and sick.
From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing healthy in the nation’s body,
Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil [as a remedy].
Your land lies desolate [because of your disobedience],
Your cities are burned with fire,
Your fields—strangers are devouring them in your very presence;
It is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
The Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem) is left like a [deserted] shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city [isolated, surrounded by devastation].
If the Lord of hosts
Had not left us a few survivors,
We would be like Sodom,
We would be like Gomorrah.(A)
God Has Had Enough
Hear the word of the Lord [rulers of Jerusalem],
You rulers of [another] Sodom,
Listen to the law and instruction of our God,
You people of [another] Gomorrah.
“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me [without your repentance]?”
Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of [your] burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of well-fed cattle [without your obedience];
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls or lambs or goats [offered without repentance].
“When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires this of you, this trampling of My [temple] courts [by your sinful feet]?
“Do not bring worthless offerings again,
[Your] incense is repulsive to Me;
[Your] New Moon and Sabbath [observances], the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure wickedness [your sin, your injustice, your wrongdoing] and [the squalor of] the festive assembly.
“I hate [the hypocrisy of] your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts.
They have become a burden to Me;
I am weary of bearing them.
“So when you spread out your hands [in prayer, pleading for My help],
I will hide My eyes from you;
Yes, even though you offer many prayers,
I will not be listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Get your evil deeds out of My sight.
Stop doing evil,
Learn to do good.
Rebuke the ruthless,
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the [rights of the] widow [in court].
“Let Us Reason”
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord.
“[a]Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be like wool.
“If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the best of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Zion Corrupted, to Be Redeemed
How the faithful city has become a prostitute [idolatrous, despicable],
She who was full of justice!
Right standing with God once lodged in her,
But now murderers.
Your silver has turned to [b]lead,
Your wine is diluted with water.
Your rulers are rebels
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves bribes
And chases after gifts.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the widow’s cause come before them [instead they delay or turn a deaf ear].
Therefore the Lord God of hosts,
The Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah, I will be freed of My adversaries
And avenge Myself on My enemies.
“And I will turn My hand against you,
And will [thoroughly] purge away your dross as with lye
And remove all your tin (impurity).
“Then I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning;
Afterward you will be called the city of righteousness,
The faithful city.”
Zion will be redeemed with justice
And her repentant ones with righteousness.
But rebels and sinners will be crushed and destroyed together,
And those who abandon (turn away from) the Lord will be consumed (perish).
For you will be ashamed [of the degradation] of the oaks in which you took [idolatrous] pleasure,
And you will be ashamed of the gardens [of passion] which you have chosen [for pagan worship].
For you will be like an oak whose leaf withers and dies
And like a garden that has no water.
The strong man will become tinder,
And his work a spark.
So both will burn together
And there will be none to quench them.
God’s Universal Reign
2 The word [from God] which Isaiah son of Amoz saw [in a vision] concerning [the nation of] Judah and [its capital city] Jerusalem.
Now it will come to pass that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be [firmly] established as the [c]highest of the mountains,
And will be exalted above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
And many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house (temple) of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go out from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between the nations,
And will mediate [disputes] for many peoples;
And they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up the sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.(B)
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Most certainly [Lord] You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with influences from the east,
And they are soothsayers [who foretell] like the Philistines;
Also they strike bargains with the children of foreigners (pagans).(C)
Their land has also been filled with silver and gold
And there is no end to their treasures;
Their land has also been filled with horses
And there is no end to their chariots.(D)
Their land has also been filled with idols;
They worship the work of their hands,
That which their own fingers have made.
So the common man has been humbled [before idols]
And the man of importance has been degraded,
Therefore do not forgive them [O Lord].
Go among the rocks and hide in the dust
From the terror of the Lord and from the splendor of His majesty.
The proud look of man will be degraded
And the arrogance of men will be humbled,
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
A Day of Reckoning Coming
For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against all who are proud and arrogant
And against all who are lifted up,
That they may be degraded.(E)
And the wrath of God will be against all the cedars of Lebanon [west of the Jordan] that are high and lifted up,
Against all the oaks of Bashan [east of the Jordan],
Against all the high mountains,
Against all the hills that are lifted up,
Against every high tower,
Against every fortified wall,
Against all the ships of Tarshish
And against all the beautiful craft.
Then the pride of man will be humbled
And the arrogance of men will be degraded;
The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day,
And the idols will completely vanish (be abolished).
They [the stricken, deprived of all in which they had trusted] will go into the caves of the rocks
And into the holes of the ground [fleeing]
From the terror and dread of the Lord
And from the splendor of His majesty,
When He arises to terrify the earth.(F)
In that day men will throw away to the moles and to the bats
Their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
Which they made for themselves [as objects] to worship,
To go into the caverns of the rocks and into the clefts of the [ragged] cliffs [as they flee]
From the terror and dread of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty,
When He arises to terrify the earth.
Stop regarding man, whose breath [of life] is in his nostrils [for so little time];
For why should he be esteemed?
God Will Remove the Leaders
3 Listen carefully, the Lord God of hosts is removing from Jerusalem and from Judah
Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread
And the whole supply of water;
The brave man and the warrior [He is also removing],
The judge and the prophet,
The diviner and the elder,
The captain of fifty and the man of honor,
The counselor and the expert artisan,
And the skillful enchanter.
And I will make mere boys their princes,
And capricious (impulsive, unpredictable) children will rule over them.
And the people will be oppressed,
Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor;
The boy will be arrogant and insolent toward the elder
And the vulgar (common) toward the honorable [person of rank].
When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying,
“You have a robe, you shall be our judge and ruler,
And this pile of ruins will be under your control,”
He will protest on that day, saying,
“I will not be a [d]governor;
For in my house there is neither bread nor clothing;
You should not make me a judge and ruler of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen,
Because their words and their actions are against the Lord,
To rebel against His glorious presence and defiantly provoke Him.
Their partiality testifies against them,
They display their sin like Sodom;
They do not even hide it.
Woe (judgment is coming) to [e]them!
For they have brought evil on themselves [as a reward].
Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their [righteous] actions.
Woe (judgment is coming) to the wicked! It shall go badly with him,
For what his hand has done shall be done to him.
O My people! Children are their oppressors,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Your leaders lead you astray
And confuse (destroy, swallow up) the direction of your paths.
God Will Judge
The Lord rises to contend,
And stands to judge the people.
The Lord enters into judgment with the elders of His people and their princes,
“For it is you who have devoured the vineyard [with your oppression, you have robbed the people and ruined the country];
The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
“What do you mean by crushing My people
And grinding the face of the poor?”
Declares the Lord God of hosts.
Judah’s Women Denounced
Moreover, the Lord said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud
And walk with outstretched necks and seductive (flirtatious, alluring) eyes,
And trip along with mincing steps and an affected gait
And walk with jingling [f]anklets on their feet,
Therefore the Lord will afflict the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion with scabs [making them bald],
And the Lord will expose their foreheads (send them into captivity).”
18 In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, [braided] caps, crescent [head] ornaments, 19 dangling earrings, bracelets, and the hanging veils and scarves, 20 head wraps (turbans), [short, jingling] ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets (charms), 21 signet [finger] rings, nose rings, 22 festival robes, outer tunics, shawls, handbags, 23 hand mirrors, [fine linen] undergarments, headbands, and veils [covering the entire body].
Now it will come to pass that instead of the sweet fragrance of spices there will be [the stench of] rottenness;
Instead of a belt, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, baldness;
Instead of fine clothes, a robe of sackcloth;
And branding [of captives by the scorching heat] instead of beauty.
Your men will fall by the sword
And your mighty men in battle.
And Jerusalem’s gates will lament (cry out in grief) and mourn [as those who wail for the dead];
And she, being ruined and desolate, will sit upon the ground.
A Remnant Prepared
4 And in that day seven women will take hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own food and wear [and provide] our own clothes; only let us be called by your name; take away our shame [of being unmarried].”
2 In that day the Branch of the Lord will be splendid and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be excellent and lovely to those of Israel who have survived.(G) 3 It will come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy (set apart for God)—everyone who is recorded for [eternal] life in Jerusalem.(H) 4 When the Lord has washed away the [moral] filth of the daughters of Zion and has cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create over the entire site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud by day, smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory and brilliance will be a canopy [a defense, a covering of His divine love and protection]. 6 And there will be a pavilion for shade from the heat by day, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and the rain.
- Isaiah 1:18 There was a legend among the rabbis that on the Day of Atonement a scarlet woolen thread was tied to the door of the temple, and when the scapegoat reached the wilderness (Lev 16:10), if the sins of Israel were forgiven the thread would miraculously turn white.
- Isaiah 1:22 Lit galena.
- Isaiah 2:2 Or chief; lit head.
- Isaiah 3:7 Or binder of wounds.
- Isaiah 3:9 Lit their soul.
- Isaiah 3:16 Decorative chains attached from one ankle to the other to insure a measured gait.